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Dr. Edward Martinez selected as president by Luna BOT

The Luna Community College Board of Trustees selected Dr. Edward Martinez as the next president of Luna Community College in a special meeting held on Tuesday, May 4.

The board authorized Gold Hill Associates, a search firm hired by the BOT, to begin contract negotiations. The board expects to take action on the contract details at its regular meeting on Tuesday, May 11. The search process began in January.

Dr. Martinez is currently a Special Assistant to the President at New Mexico Highlands University. Dr. Martinez’ key responsibilities are: work with diversity and equity issues; work on special assignments in advancement and alumni relations; sustain NMHU operations related to programming at the Rio Mora National Wildlife Refuge and Conservation Area and special projects as assigned by the president in federal grant fund raising and in matters related to university strategic planning and accreditation, community relations, board relations, faculty relations, budget and finance and government relations.

From 2016 to 2020, Dr. Martinez served as Vice President for Strategic Enrollment Management at NMHU, where he addressed retention issues by developing long-term strategies through innovation, listening, inclusivity, collaboration, transparency and data analysis. Dr. Martinez oversaw the offices of financial aid, recruitment and admissions, student relations, academic support, the Native American Center and the International Education Center. Dr. Martinez is the founding director of ARMAS (Achieving in Research, Math, and Science Center) at NMHU, which is designed to engage, provide comprehensive support and retain students through graduation in the STEM area.

Dr. Martinez has extensive experience in grant writing where he has brought in over $14,000,000 and has facilitated numerous partnerships with community organizations, other colleges and universities and federal and state agencies. Dr. Martinez has also been a faculty member in the STEM area at NMHU and served as the chair of the Department of Natural Resource Management.

Dr. Martinez earned his Ph.D. in Environmental and Natural Resources Sciences from Washington State University in 2000.

On April 1, the BOT named six finalists (one of the finalists later took his name out of consideration). Earlier this month, the remaining five finalists participated in Zoom forums that were available for public view and feedback.

Dr. Kenneth Patterson, who has served as interim president at Luna Community College since June 2020 will move back to Luna’s Vice President of Instruction and Student Services. Morris Madrid, Luna’s Vice President of Finance and Administration, will be the acting president until the permanent president comes onboard.